by Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889)
The castle stands far away. It mirrors over the lakes in red.
Its shadow rests for ages in the waters’ clear bed.
It stands quietly in the middle of the fir forest’s clearing.
It gives so much shade to the whirling waves.
Only long frilled drapes, throughout arched windows,
Shake and shine, like the white frost before it thaws.
The moon flickers on top of the forest. It gets larger, and glows constantly.
And it paints on the sky, a side of a rock or a top of a tree.
And oak trees border it. They seem huge shields back-to-back.
And guard like they would watch over a secret treasure to the eastern flank.
Only over the lakes, the white swans are a true royal family,
And guests to its tranquillity, when out of the reeds they float slowly,
And with stretched wings they preen their feathers.
Then the waves break with shimmer, with fizz and bubbles.
The reeds rustle and stir, at the drift of the waves.
A grasshopper sighs, while asleep on the nearby pasture…
It is so much summer in the air. And the hum is so easy on the ear.
Just a young man sighs alone. He looks at a balcony to see his dear.
A balcony with leaves dangling on trellis, and with red roses of Shiraz.
And it was filled with climbing plants of all sorts, and bees that buzz.
The lakes’ humid breeze, and the nightfall… these makes him drunk.
His guitar sounds a song at dusk, in the castle’s park.
'Oh, in a long silky dress that is weighed down with silver dust,
It seems you show yourself to me for a second time, you angel of light.
While your white hand, arranges your blond curls,
All my life I shall look at you in your nimbus of rays.
Come! Play with me…with my destiny…
From your sweet bosom… the plains’ wilted flower… toss it at me.
So it shall fall on the strings with rich tunes of my guitar.
Oh, seems that snow has fallen. The night is white so far.
Or in the scented shade of your home, shall I come with a sigh?
And have the scent of flaxen linen get me high?
And the lamp’s violet-blue globe, which belongs to my slim lady,
Cupid—a butler—with his hand shall hide it jokingly.
And her silky dress rustles on the floorboards
Between blue vines, Shiraz roses, and flower pots;
A young woman smiles in the midst of flowers, and she leans on a grille.
The features of his dear seem a graceful shape of an angel.
She throws a rose at him from the balcony. She sends him a kiss
Touching her lips with her hands. She tells him off, happily, when she whispers.
And once more she goes into her room. Steps are heard coming down in a rush
And she exits through the door in a flash.
They hug, and they walk arm in arm, next to each other.
Both are tall. She is pretty and he is young. They look good together.
A boat is being untied from the coast.
And it is slowly sailed in slam of oars, with its sail hanging on the mast.
It swings so much passion and so much delight…
The moon comes out full. It rises with so much light.
And it builds a blazing trail from shore to shore.
And leans it on quick waves, which are galore.
The moon, the golden maiden, is the dream of the eternal night.
And with how much becomes clearer, its sweet light,
With that much, the water waves and the shore, seem to get higher.
The forest seems larger, with the moon’s disc, that rules over the water,
And it looks as if they almost get closer together
Near the Linden tree, which has ample shade and flowers to the ground.
It appears that all these, move around the misty stream, in a way, which is erratic.
Petals soar in the wind, and shower her on her blond head and on her neck…
She grabs his neck with both her petite arms. And she leans her head.
'You amaze me if you don’t put a stop to it…
Oh, the words come keenly from your lips, and are so sweet.
I, a trainee maid, how you raise me highly in your innermost part,
When my only frill is the fact that in your heart you are sorry for me.
And you yearn for me with a gentle passion in your voice.
A love story out of the soap opera, it seems to me.
Your entire dreams and your eyes are so gloomy.
You know my entire state of mind, with your eyes moist depth.
Give me your dark eye… Don’t stare the other way with it.
Since I shall in no way get enough, from its sweet glimmer.
Staring at your eye I shall go blind. Oh, just listen here.
With stars that foretell, thousand of waves halt at our chat.
The dark forest is in its natural state.
And blue springs talk to each other about our love.
And stars only twinkle, above the middle of the aloof fir-trees.
All are our friends… the entire ground, the sky…
You could drop the helm. And you can throw the oars away.
Brisk waves shall push us for hours, with their swiftness.
As wherever, they might just take us anywhere,
To happiness… in life or in death if we dare.”
Craze you, or flight of fancy… While there is only you and I,
You often take me through the forest, on lakes and to sea.
Where have I ever seen these new lands?
When did these things happen? Was it in the fourteen hundreds?
Today it is not on the cards to let myself loose in her gaze
The way I’d feel like, the way I’d like to cuddle a lass.
To put my arm around her narrow part, chest to bosom, mouth to mouth,
And ask her only with my eye. Do you love me? Tell me the truth…
I may as well, since the door opens, as I hardly stretch my hand.
It is her relatives’ reunion—some uncle, or some aunt…
I quickly turn my head. I look timidly down. And my mind I tease…
Wouldn’t it be in this world, some place for making love with ease?
And they all sit tightly on chairs, like Egyptian mummies.
And at times, with clenched fists, I spool with my fingers.
I count the hair on my moustache. I roll a cigar now and again.
And I try to be creative on the topic of cuisine.
I’m fed up with such a life, or to seep from its glass.
But this grief, this style is foul, my dear lass.
Why bless such a puffed up instinct with many a tear?
It does call at birds too, about twice a year.
It isn’t me who feels like it. Yet an odd craze, troubles me. It suffers,
It laughs with my mouth. It makes me happy; and it whispers.
Because all our lives, each one of these feelings are like the tide.
Only that the tide is forever. Demiurge is the tide and its guide.
Don’t you feel that your love is an alien love? Mad guys you.
Don’t you feel that you only see wonder in silly things? I do.
Don’t you see that love serves a purpose in life?
And that it is the cradle of life, and the seed of revulsion.
Don’t you see that your laugh becomes cry for your children?
And guilty of it, isn’t the fact that the Cain’s line couldn’t breathe its last yet?
Oh puppet-show you—chitchat of man’s words—you don’t see the point.
Like parrots, you tell again and again thousands of jokes and stories.
And then saying it again tens of thousand of times,
An actor says what was said always for centuries,
And it shall be said for hundreds of years yet to come,
To the time when the sun will shut down into the chasm;
What? When the moon sneaks through the clouds in the wilderness,
Shall I, with my world of thoughts, follow it in distress?
Shall I lose my footing on glazed frost, on the snowy streets?
Shall I gaze through clear windows at the bright lights?
Only to see her surrounded by a mob of idle guys.
And see her smile at them, pushed by her shallow desires.
So at the clank of spurs I can hear the rustle of dresses,
While the women wink, and men twist their moustaches,
And when they close their amorous deals with a glance,
Shall I freeze of cold with my silly feeling, at her house’s entrance?
Whilst with bad temper, she is severe, like the spring weather.
Shall I love her passionately and never tired, like a teenager?
When she’s cool and trendy from top to bottom,
Shall I get carried away while holding her in my arm?
Shall I admire her? Or shall I spoil her much, while I’m waiting?
Like I would with a sculpture from Parous or with a Corregio’s painting…
You are foolish. Please, think about it. Yes…you see…
I dreamed once, about the woman who would love me.
She’ll look at me over her shoulder when I shall be lost in thought.
And she shall see that I value her. I shall feel that she’s close at hand.
From our modest life, we could create a full-length story…
I don’t search for her anymore…whom shall I look for? It is the same old cry.
The thirst for the first acquaintance rings in my ears.
But my organs, which I feel with, are hurt. And in erratic cries,
The old blast still works, the way on nights, the water spring spills out,
When I’m with a young woman that for so long I’ve dreamed about,
And when my mind brings up some pure hint.
And so it whistles and shouts, it rouses, and it sounds worn-out.
It pushes on the cord in a wild and strong way.
A gust of wind is on my mind. I’m shocked. My head burns, I must say.
The firm and short moan, it seems scanty and usual, without doubt.
Where are the complete files of my life, so I can read them out?
Oh, the organs are ruined.
And the maestro is mad.
(1881 September the 1st and published posthumously in 1890 February the 1st)
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